Women Level Up in 2019 Victorian Training Awards


The Apprenticeship Employment Network (AEN) and Global Apprenticeship Network (GAN) Australia celebrates the achievements of apprentices, trainees and group training organisations at annual gala dinner

Melbourne, Victoria: On Friday 6 December, the winners of the 2019 Apprenticeship Employment Network (AEN) and Global Apprenticeship Network (GAN) Australia Awards were announced during a gala dinner at Parliament House. The 13 awards recognise the successes of apprentices, trainees and group training organisations across the state, with nominees hailing from Horsham to Bairnsdale, Warrnambool to Echuca.

This year 50 per cent of the individual award-winners were women, marking a shift in the composition of traineeships and apprenticeships in Victoria.

“On behalf of GAN Australia, I offer congratulations to all winners of this year’s apprenticeships awards, particularly the Apprentice of the Year, Jessica Scott-Smith. The resilience, initiative and talent of all the nominees is a testament to the strength of the vocational education and training system in Victoria,” said Gary Workman, Executive Director of GAN Australia.

Gary Workman said, “We are excited to announce the 2019 GAN International Apprenticeship Scholarship recipient, Joel Handcock. As part of his scholarship, Joel will travel to Idaho, USA to develop his skills and build global relationships that will benefit the automation technology industry. This award demonstrates just how far an apprenticeship can take young people and as part of a global network, GAN will continue to promote international learning for Australians.”

Jessica Scott-Smith, 2019 Apprentice of the Year and winner of the Inspiration Award: Women in Trades, has dedicated herself to a career in horticulture. She has taken every opportunity to learn, from TAFE to Swinburne’s Pathways and Vocational Education (PAVE) program, into on-the-job training. Jessica is now qualified in the use of small machinery, nursery management, workplace health and safety management and project administration. She has combined her skills to follow her passion, undertaking revegetation projects and important weed and pest management work. Jessica’s dedication and talent has been recognised through these awards and she provides a great example for all apprentices and women in trades.

“The future is bright for apprenticeships and traineeships in Australia, which continue to provide the necessary link between skills, business and employment,” said Gary Workman.

Individual award categories and winners are as follows:

ATOA Apprentice of the Year
Jessica Scott-Smith

Trainee of the Year    
Ashleigh McCafferty

Inspiration Award: Indigenous Student of the Year  
Kayleigh Gallagher

Inspiration Award: Overcoming Adversity  
Sian Prangnell

Inspiration Award: Women in Trades
Jessica Scott-Smith

School-based Apprentice/Trainee of the Year 
Heidi Rasmussen

STAR (OH&S) Award   
Nicholas Wu

GAN International Apprentice Scholarship
Joel Handcock

GTO Industry Service Awards

10 Year

Grace Walsh – Gforce

Wendy Kohler– Gforce

David McFarland – MMTC Ltd

Richard Steendam – MMTC Ltd

Warren Tattersall – MMTC Ltd

James McWilliam – AGA Australia

Leah Crellin – AGA Australia

Anthony Smith – Westvic Staffing Solutions

15 Year

Belinda Hotchin – Gforce

Evan Henry – WPC Group

Connie Scardamaglia – Programmed Skilled Workforce Ltd

Mark D’Aversa – WPC Group

Maurie Thurston – AGA Australia

Brendan Hawkins – Westvic Staffing Solutions

Wayne Robertson – Westvic Staffing Solutions

20 Year

Jo Adams – CVGT

Julie Stephens – Skillinvest

Andrew Sezonov – WPC Group

Margaret Groves – MMTC Ltd

Natasha Robinson – MMTC Ltd

Veronica MacLean – Westvic Staffing Solutions

25 Year

Di Menz – MMTC Ltd

Darrell Fricker – AGA Australia

30 Year

William Maher – MMTC Ltd

Michael Bellamy – Westvic Staffing Solutions



Lifetime Achievement Award

Michael Bellamy

Michael Bellamy commenced his journey in the group training sector in July 1988, when he joined the then emerging Wimmera and Grampians Group Training Company (which later became WorkCo and is now known as Skillinvest).

Being only the 3rd member of the team, Mike quickly established himself as a networker, sharing his passion for the industry within the communities of the Wimmera region, and across the group training sector at a time where management systems and a uniform approach to service was scarce.

Mikes involvement in, and influence on, the group training sector now spans over 30 years, having spent the past 16 years with Westvic Staffing Solutions as the Human Resources and Occupational Health and Safety Manager.

His passion for the industry, and in particular the quality and safety of the industry, has provided an unparalleled collaboration of resources and shared intelligence which will be Mike’s legacy to the sector into the future. Without doubt, the industry is safer in 2019 than it was 30 years ago due to the tireless efforts of Mike Bellamy.


GTO Service Excellence Award

Metro Tunnel Project – Pathway Program
AGA Apprenticeships Plus

The Major Projects team at AGA are currently the employment provider for a Pathway Program on the Metro Tunnel project with Cross Yarra Partnership (CYP). The program focuses on disadvantaged youth between the ages of 16 and 25 with extreme barriers to employment and provides a platform for them to undertake a Certificate III or IV in Business which are placed alongside a mentor within various teams on the project.

The program gives them a pathway into a project which they otherwise probably would not have had. There have been 33 employment opportunities through the program so far, and seven participants have completed their qualification.


Indigenous Advancement Strategy
Programmed Skilled Workforce Ltd

As Training Services Manager – Connie is responsible for the Operational Service Delivery and Management of both Programmed’s GTO and RTO.

Programmed is a recognised service provider for the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet’s Indigenous Advancement Strategy – Jobs, Land and Economy Program, and a signatory to Generation One. They provide Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people the training and employment opportunities necessary to gain relevant skills and experience, equipping them for a lifetime of employment.

In recognising the importance of providing Indigenous people with employment pathways – Connie works closely alongside a dedicated manager, who works with their clients to increase Indigenous participation across the workforce. This encompasses support in developing Indigenous Participation Plans and completing Cultural Heritage Management Plans.


Shaping Futures Pilot Program
Westvic Staffing Solutions

The Shaping Futures Pilot Program adopted a targeted approach for creating employment outcomes for secondary students with a disability, giving them an increased chance of entering mainstream employment post-secondary school. The program has created and supported in excess of 40 school-based employment outcomes for secondary students with a disability across all Westvic locations. The program has worked closely with local secondary schools and TAFE Institutes to design and develop training packages that will integrate into their secondary study timetable.

The program has enabled a mix of school-based employment opportunities, with support tailored to the individual needs of the students. This support provided has included pre-employment preparation, enhanced tailored mentoring to suit the individual, and support and mentoring for the engaged host employers, some of which will not have had experience employing individuals with a disability.


GTO Outstanding OHS Initiative Award

AGA Australia / MAS National

The OHS Essentials Program is a WorkSafe funded initiative that provides eligible Victorian employers with assistance with health and safety. Dr Paul Scofield has been on the panel of WorkSafe approved consultants since mid-2013 and delivers the Program under the contract held by MAS National. Over 150 employers participating in the Program have benefited from Paul’s expertise, with almost one in three assisted with compliance with WorkSafe issued Improvement Notices.

Paul has achieved a reputation as an outstanding health and safety professional over his 27 years in Group Training. He commenced as a Field Officer with Inner Northern Group Training, now trading as IntoWork Australia. Paul is the IntoWork Risk Manager and OHS Consultant for MAS National. He has had several roles that currently include providing health and safety services to five Group Training Companies within the IntoWork Group.


GAN National Youth Initiative of the Year

The Adecco Group – CEO for One Month Initiative

The Adecco Group’s “CEO for One Month” initiative was created to empower young people with the skills and experience necessary for them to thrive in the business world.

‘CEO for One Month’ participants shadow their country CEO for the month, attending conferences, business meetings, client visits and experiencing everything that the CEO does during their business day. They are also given weekly projects to complete, allowing them to engage with the local staff as well as to engage with fellow ‘CEO for One Month’ representatives across the globe.

It is a great opportunity for young people to develop and showcase their leadership potential, to learn what it takes to succeed as a business leader and to acquire the skills and the experience needed to get a foot on the career leader. Out of the 48 ‘CEO for One Month’ global participants, 10 outstanding national participants are selected to attend a Global Bootcamp, where one finalist is selected as the ‘Global CEO for One Month’ and is given the opportunity to shadow the Global CEO of the Adecco Group for an additional month.


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